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Thread: North American Smartphone Paradigm

  1. #1
    The model drives me crazy, as I imagine it does most of you; signing a 2-year (3 years in Canada) contract in order to get your hands on the latest device continues to confound me. Though I proudly consider myself a nerd, I am shamefully ill-informed on the models for smartphone adoption elsewhere in the world, specifically Europe, so I have a few questions:

  2. #2

    North American Smartphone Paradigm

    1. Am I to understand that it is far easier to obtain an unbranded/unlocked (straight-from-the-manufacturer) smartphone in Europe than in North America?
    2. If so, are the storefronts, of major mobile carriers (Orange and Vodafone for example), where people go to get these devices? Or are they available at most major electronics stores.
    3. Are the off contract prices similar to that which we see here? (even though, here, in many cases, when you buy a phone off contract from a carrier it will still have that carriers crap all over it)

  3. #3
    All these questions to ask: WHY THE HELL IS IT SO HARD TO GET A DEVICE OVER HERE?! Is the paradigm so thoroughly ingrained that its just become permanently accepted? Am I the only one that is howling about this? Do the carriers have the manufacturers balls in a vice? Do the manufacturers like this model? Wouldn't they prefer to sell you their devices and just have the carriers be pipes?

  4. #4
    1. It is easier to get an unbranded/unlocked phone here in Europe.
    2.You can get it from the Carrier shops, but there are lots of alternatives such as CarPhone WareHouse and Phones4U that have the same or often better deals.
    3.Phones are often free on contract. The top of the line phones can be got for varying amounts of cash down, but they tend to be in the area of 99 or you could pay a bit more monthly and get something like the iPhone 4S for free.
    I pay 36 a month on an iPhone 4S and it was 99 down. That gives me 600 minutes talk time, 500mb internet and unlimited texts.
    IMHO the North American carriers are children and the manufacturers consider them a Pain in the Backside.

  5. #5
    That was enlightening, thank you.
    My remaining question is this: if the manufacturers could have their way, would they prefer to work through carriers or sell their devices independant of the carriers and allow the buyer to choose the service (assuming carrier compatibility exists in this hypothetical)
    from the linked post, im guessing manufacturers dont mind the carriers setting the prices in the US as this allows them to sell at these prices in Europe. Consequently im assuming these prices are higher than they ‘should’ be. is this correct?

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